The Hub General Store

As founder and director of much loved Melbourne furniture and homewares store Hub Furniture, Jacqueline Foti-Lowe knows great design when she sees it. Best known for her impeccable eye for high-end designer pieces, the creative retailer’s latest project is an entirely different outlet.

The Hub General Store is Jacqueline’s brand new store in the backstreets of Collingwood. This unique retail space stocks an eclectic edit of functional objects (think pencil sharpeners, can openers, tape dispensers and more), sourced from all over the globe, and starting from just $1.00!

Lucy Feagins

Details from new Collingwood store, The Hub General Store. Photo – Rachel Horan.

The Hub General Store in Collingwood opened earlier this month. Photo – Rachel Horan.

Inside the new carefully curated retail space. Photo – Jenah Piwanski.

The eclectic items on offer include simple, everyday objects and vintage furniture. Photo – Jenah Piwanski.

Sweet children’s gifts at The Hub General Store. Photo – Rachel Horan.

AGA stove and functional kitchen area at at The Hub General Store – pop in for scones with jam and cream1  Photo – Jenah Piwanski.

The store brings together everyday objects and vintage furniture sourced over 15 years. Photo – Jenah Piwanski.

Store details. Photo – Rachel Horan.

Stool and mirror by Faye Toogood, whose work is featured in The Hub General Store’s debut in-store installation.

Chair and mirror by Faye Toogood.

Lucy Feagins
19th of December 2017

Over the last 15 years,  Jacqueline Foti-Lowe has been collecting beautiful objects discovered on her travels. Simple, everyday items, such as pencil sharpeners, can openers, tape dispensers, sponges, towels, and day-to-day tools that are perfect for their function. ‘I always knew that at some point I’d give all those treasures and findings a voice, but I had no idea how I’d execute it’ the seasoned retailer explains.

Finally, these treasured discoveries now have a home – at The Hub General Store in Collingwood. This unique retail offering has been inspired by 15 years of travelling and collecting, as well as Jacqueline’s own family home at Kangaroo Ground, where  visits to the local general store to pick up utilitarian supplies is a daily ritual.

‘I’ve always loved rummaging through flea markets and collecting things, including furniture, knowing again that at some point they would come in handy’ the creative retailer explains. The idea of creating a dedicated retail space for these ever-growing collections became a serious consideration for Jacqueline last year. Moving beyond just a pastime, a business proposition started to formulate.

After scouring more traditional storefront rental opportunities, late one night, Jacqueline found exactly what she was looking for. A small, bluestone building just a short walk from the Collingwood’s busy Smith st was her discovery. Completely closed up and in disrepair, this characterful little building immediately struck a chord. ‘It was unorthodox, difficult, challenging and tucked away’ she recalls… ‘But it had a quirkiness and joy hidden underneath that resonated with me. It was like hearing the perfect song.’

Whilst it does have what Jacqueline describes at the ‘Hub DNA’, the new store is entirely different from Hub Furniture. After all, The Hub General Store is exactly that – a general store. Set over three distinct rooms, the place has a distinctly home-like feel – complete with AGA stove and functional kitchen area, where tea and scones with jam and cream are served!

‘The common thread between Hub Furniture and The Hub General Store is the quality, originality and authenticity’ Jacqueline explains. ‘But the generals store is more about the everyday’. The other thing that’s completely different is pricing! ‘The Hub General Store starts at $1, and there’s not much you can buy at Hub Furniture for $1!’ Jacqueline admits. Instead, this new store strives to have something for everyone – from a jar of honey, to a pencil or a small personal item, no one leaves empty handed!

In addition to its retail offerings, the front room of Hub’s general store will play host to an ongoing calendar of events and exhibitions. The first of these (on now), is an installation showcasing the work of revered British designer Faye Toogood.

The Hub General Store
36 Cambridge Street
VIC 3066

Open daily 10am – 7pm

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